Useful replicas up for sale at motor caravan rally

Ron Dodunski, left, and Basil Dodunski on the 6.5m replica of the walkway bridge which will be on display at NZ Caravan Motor Association Rally Easter Weekend.
Ron Dodunski, left, and Basil Dodunski on the 6.5m replica of the walkway bridge which will be on display at NZ Caravan Motor Association Rally Easter Weekend.

Miniature replicas of Taranaki landmarks will be on display - and up for sale - this Easter.

They will be a feature of the 2013 New Zealand Motor Caravan Association rally in New Plymouth during Easter weekend.

On display would be miniature versions of the Te Rewa Rewa bridge, Stratford glockenspiel, Hawera water tower, Cape Egmont lighthouse, Pukekura Park waterfall, an oil rig, a gas flare and even an erupting Mt Taranaki, event organiser Basil Dodunski said.

Many of the miniature creations would be up for sale, he said.

The creator of the mini Te Rewa Rewa bridge, Egmont Village dairy farmer Ron Dodunski, said the 6.5-metre structure, made of galvanised steel piping, was designed to be used as a functional footbridge.

"You always build something you can use," Mr Dodunski said. The bridge took about 100 hours to make in his shed.

Mr Dodunski was also an engineer and had made a couple of bridges in his time, he said.

"I've built quite a few bridges for myself."

All materials for the bridge were provided at cost price by New Plymouth Steel Supplies, Trade Zone New Plymouth, Value Timber Supplies and Resene.

The bridge will have a reserve price of $10,000 and tenders will be taken until June 1.

Mr Dodunski said he would like to see the bridge bought by the New Plymouth District Council so it could be installed in a public place.

All profits, after material costs of $5000 were paid for, would go towards the Taranaki Base Hospital children's ward.

Mr Dodunski said he wanted to recreate the Te Rewa Rewa bridge because it was a landmark Taranaki structure.

"I think the Te Rewa Rewa bridge is just a magnificent bridge.

"We decided to build something from Taranaki that people would remember."

Basil Dodunski said the rally would see about 850 motor homes roll into New Plymouth for the event being held at the New Plymouth racecourse and TSB Stadium.

Mr Dodunski said Taranaki motor home association members were determined to put on an AGM better than any other province.

"I wanted to bring a rally that is unlike anything that has been seen before," Mr Dodunski said.

"It's to promote and showcase Taranaki."

About 1700 people were expected to attend the event in addition to the general public, he said.

The event would be open to the public for free from 10am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

In 2011 at the International Bridge Conference, the Te Rewa Rewa bridge was awarded the Arthur G Hayden Medal, which recognises outstanding achievement in bridge engineering that demonstrates innovation in special-use bridges.

That same year the 70-metre footbridge won best bridge between 30 metres and 75 metres, at the Footbridge Awards in Poland. The bridge also won the Ingenium Excellence Award for projects between $2 million and $10m.

Taranaki Daily News